Information technology is revolutionizing every aspect of society, and healthcare is no exception. In fact, healthcare is a sector that can uniquely benefit from the accurate and comprehensive aggregation of information. A number of healthcare information systems workers are employed in an effort to use IT to manage administrative aspects of healthcare. Health information managers combine an understanding of business and IT to implement functional medical records and information systems in healthcare offices. They direct the daily activities of health information technicians. Health information technicians are the professionals who manage individual health records on a daily basis; they update records with new information, store records, and produce records at the doctor’s request. Medical billing and coding specialists use the information in medical records to bill insurance companies and ensure that the healthcare facility is reimbursed for its services.
An associate degree in healthcare information systems is appropriate for positions as a health information technician, billing and coding specialist, or other healthcare information support worker. Those interested in becoming health information managers will need to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in health administration, healthcare information systems, business administration, or another pertinent area. While not required, professional credentials are widely regarded in this field and can help one secure a job.
A large increase in the demand for healthcare services is predicted for the 2008-2018 period, as the elderly population in the United States balloons. Because of this, health information technicians and managers should have very good job opportunities in the coming years. The average annual health information technician salary ranges from $24,000-39,000; health information managers earn $62,000-104,000.
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